Trainer B.W. Brown
The first Queensland trained horse to win the world’s richest two-year-old race the Golden Slipper in 2002. She won four two-year-olds in Brisbane for jockey Stathi Katsidis but Scott Seamer had the Slipper ride. It was the second million dollar plus win for trainer Bruce Brown as his filly Emma’s Affair had won a big prizemoney race at Caloundra in the 1990s. Calaway Gal did not kick on as an older mare and failed to win another race. But she will always have a place in Queensland racing history.
A former strapper working at Calaway Gal's stable reflects on her arrival and great wins:
I worked for Bruce when a small brown yearling filly came into the stables in 2001. She didn't have great breeding or outstanding looks, she was just one of the new batch of hopefulls coming into the stables. Little did we know at the time, we were about to embark of the ride of a life time with Calaway Gal or as we knew her by her stable name, Angle.
Calaway Gal's first public appearance was unspectacular, finishing unplaced in a Doomben barrier trial, however she learnt quickly, because when she trialed a couple of weeks later at Eagle Farm, the result was a bit different. She lead all the way to score by 14 lengths. Not a bad effort for a 800m. trial. I remember standing in the enclosure that day thinking, what do we have here. Sure it was only a barrier trial, but only real good horses are able to do what she did that day.
Her first race start was high in anticipation and the little filly didn't let anyone down leading all the way for a great start to her racing career over 1000m at Eagle Farm.
Her next start at Doomben for win number two and a class record to boot was followed by another Doomben win before she was set for the C.E. McDougall Stakes over 1200m at Eagle Farm. With Stathi Katsidis in the saddle, Calaway Gal exploded any doubts on her class with a five length win. Connections were then eyeing off a $100,000 bonus for the winner of the Road to Glory Series by winning the Tommy Smith Slipper in a fortnight.
As racing people know, racing has many up's and even more down's and what was to happen only hours before the running of the Slipper left everyone feeling downcast. Like a lot of top fillys, Calaway could be a bit flighty and somehow she managed to flip herself over in the tie up stalls and sustain cuts and bruises to her off hind foot. The vet Fred Manahan had no option but to rule her out of the race. The good news was that the injury was not too bad and the plan was still in place to take her to Sydney to run in the Golden Slipper.
Thanks to Geoff Shephard for contributing these photos of Calaway Gal